Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Totally Saving Tuesday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (Times 2)

First I want to apologize to those who may have e-mailed me some concerned e-mails over the last couple of weeks and I might not have answered.  I've been pretty out of it the last couple of weeks and just haven't been up to much.

Basically we all got miserably sick around here with two different viruses.  First one my son brought home a cold and made everyone sick and then as soon as we started getting over that one my daughter brought home another virus that has cold symptoms and disperses it with stomach upset over the course of over a week.  Between the two viruses the kids have been sick, one or the other, at least a couple of days a week from school and I never have gotten a chance to get well and feel better for more than a day before I got sick again.  Not fun at all.

This last virus my daughter brought home has been utterly nasty for me.  How sick have I been?  I have gotten not much sleep the last week, have not eaten much (I kind of force myself to eat, but all I really have craved is hot liquids to help reduce the swelling in my throat and occasionally tonsils) and all I had the energy to do was basically get the kids back and forth to school and therapy (when they were up to going), get necessary appointments done (more on that in a minute) and do the minimum of things otherwise because I'm just so worn out feeling.  I've drank a lot of coffee and finally found the time to binge watch the entire series of Downton Abbey (yes, all six seasons of it) as I wasn't up to doing much else.

In between everyone being sick I found that Alvah had a loose tooth and was grinding his teeth to get rid of it.  He HATES having loose teeth and will work harder than any kid you've ever seen to get a loose tooth out of his mouth pronto.  Looking at his front teeth, though, I realized he'd actually chipped some of his front teeth, or so it looked (he hates anyone messing with his mouth, so it's kind of hard to tell) being so determined to get the offending tooth out.  So, an emergency visit to the dentist was in order and while he didn't find any cracks or severe chips in the teeth I was worried about (which was good) the dentist, while examining his mouth, found that at some point Alvah had pulled another loose tooth that I was unaware of completely out of his mouth and it had not come out whole.  So, it turns out, that Alvah has one sharp spike of a baby tooth sticking out of his top gum and he's got another small piece of tooth stuck in the gum as well.  So my husband and I found another reason completely to be worried.

We're going to give it a month as the tooth doesn't seem to bug Alvah as it is at the moment, to see if the adult tooth coming in will help to push the other fragments out (a slim chance from what the dentist said, but a chance) or if Alvah might get a want to pull the other fragments out himself.  Otherwise when we go back if the tooth fragments are looking like they aren't moving we'll have to face the real need to knock him out and remove the fragments while he's under.  We've only ever had to do dental work on him one other time where we had to knock him out when he was younger to cap one of his teeth and I have to say the prospect of knocking him out his no less terrifying now as it was then.  I had a bad reaction coming out of anesthesia when I was in high school getting my wisdom teeth out where I started going into shock and my older sister is allergic to at least some forms of anesthesia, so to say I get TERRIFIED at the prospect of them putting Alvah under is a huge understatement.  I'm doing a lot of praying that we'll not have to worry about knocking him out yet.  Maybe at some point when he's older, but not any time soon.  I don't know if those prayers will be answered, but I can pray anyway.

Between that and a book report my daughter had to get done before midnight on Saturday (you had to turn it in online) and we were working on said book report at nine on Saturday night because she put it off till the last minute and I am definitely ready for a week where I'm feeling good and not having a ton of stuff to do.  My husband and I are completely exhausted and we still have tons of stuff to do between us that we're working on slowly but surely to recover from the earthquake and things.

So, yeah, be prepared as the frugal list for the last two weeks is going to be relatively short as I have been busy with sicknesses around here and stuff, but haven't really gotten a lot done around the house and things as much as I would have liked to have.

So, let's get to what I could find time, energy and gumption to get done around here.

1.  When my son was in therapy last week my husband and I hopped over to a few local used stores to look around.  I was hopeful I could find a few things on my earthquake list that I hoped to maybe find at the used store and get off cheaper than buying off of say Amazon or somewhere.  And I did REALLY well!

First off, I was finally able to find a few milkshake glasses.  A lot of huge root beer mugs we used for making milkshakes had gotten broken in the quake and I'd been looking for replacements and I was fortunate enough to actually find REAL milkshake glasses!  I was able to find two at one used store and two at another.  They don't match, but I am not picky especially since they were only about 1.00 per glass versus 20.00 for four new :).  And my daughter loves them a lot more than the big mugs because they are "fancy and easier to lift" than the big stein type mugs we had previously.

I was also able to FINALLY after many, many years of looking managed to find a good pizza pan!!!  I am so very thrilled with it.  I've only been able to find the glorified cookie sheet pizza pans over the years and I didn't like them as well as the pan pizza style pizza pan, so to get one of those for 1.50 was a huge find for sure.  And I found a nice sized Tupperware cake keeper that is JUST the right size for a double layer round cake, which I have also been looking for forever as I only have bigger cake keepers.  I'm going to donate a bigger Rubbermaid cake keeper I'd found in the past now that I have the Tupperware one and I'm really looking forward to using it a lot in the future.

I also found a book I've looked for a great many years and had wanted to get for a great many years since I'd first read it back in college.  "The Story of Art" was my favorite all time textbook in college and I had wanted to keep it so very badly when my Art Appreciation class was over (I adored that class and if I had taken it my Freshman year versus my Senior year I would have ended up being an art history major instead of a Marketing major I can tell you that), but I ended up selling it back because I was desperately trying to save up money and the book sold back for the same amount I'd bought it for, which wasn't cheap.  And I've searched for any and all copies and editions of the book I could get a hold of ever since.  This was the first copy I've ever run across in all of the years I've looked and for 3.00 it was totally worth the price I paid for it :).  To anyone who has an interest in history and how art was shaped by it, this is definitely is a book you want to get for your shelves, but be prepared in that even past editions of the book (of which there are many) are not cheap.
I was even able to get myself a potato ricer for 4.00.  I am always striving to get smoother home made mashed potatoes and I can not WAIT to try this out to help with the job!  I've wanted one of these for a long time, but could never justify the expense of buying a new one, so I was happy to find an in brand new shape one for so cheap!

And speaking of potatoes (great lead in, Erika.  Thank you, Erika)...

2.  I have finally succeeded in getting my daughter to like home made oven fries, she doesn't mind baked potatoes now and while she misses the processed blandness of store bought instant mashed potatoes (sorry my husband's words, not mine), she's learning to like home made mashed potatoes.  So, it was definitely a good time to start keeping a decent amount of fresh potatoes around.  I sat the bags outside my pantry door and tried to think of somewhere and somehow to store potatoes.  I was going to keep them in the pantry, but it's not ideal and I didn't want to attract mice and I didn't want to give up a kitchen drawer to store them in and things.  So, I finally came up with a plan.

I took a basket that I bought used for 3.00 at a yard sale years ago and had been using as a toy basket in the den ever since, emptied the toy basket into my son's closets (as the toys were 99.9% his) and then took the now empty basket to store the potatoes in.  Next I tried to think of a cloth that would breathe well, but would at least block a decent amount of light and I ended up settling on a big thing of bulk cross stitch fabric I had in my stores.  I just laid that inside the basket to line it, piled the 20 pounds of potatoes I had into the basket and then folded the cloth over the top of them to help block out more light.  I then laid a piece of prettier fabric that I had that was of decent weight and placed it over the top of the basket for additional light blocking.  So far this basket has been working fabulously well to store the potatoes.  I took the vase I had on the landing of my stairs and put it down in the den and then placed the basket in the corner where the vase was.  The landing gets pretty darned cold because of the front door area and then the unheated pantry being underneath it, so after a lot of thought it was the best spot I could think of for storing the potatoes.  It's not the prettiest decor item in the world, but I have to say it ranks up there as one of the most practical and I love being able to access my potatoes so easily where they are.

3.  As you can see from the photo above as well I took some towels, rolled them up, and stuck them under doors and one some window wells to help block unwanted, very cold breezes that we've had.  I'm hoping it'll at least help our electric bill, even in some small way, to help the electric heat work a little more effectively.

4.  I applied for PFD's and after stalking the site, finally got our confirmation of eligibility status.  This is always a nerve wracking process for me every year as I've known multiple people that the state had lost their applications and they'd missed out completely on the PFD.  So, I was happy to have that chore done for the year.

5.  I filed our taxes as soon as we got the necessary paperwork in the mail.  We'll be getting money back, which is always a good feeling.  Per usual, the money is pretty much spent already.  My husband's last three teeth (some front teeth) that aren't capped are finally starting to deteriorate and getting concerning.  The dentist is giving us a really good price on capping the last three teeth as we've been such good customers in the past and the return should make it so we can cash those teeth out and we'll hopefully have enough left to pay the difference in the electric bill come the end of the budget billing cycle.  I looked into energy assistance thanks to the input from a friend, but we made just a bit too much per month to qualify, so hopefully just saving the cash necessary will be a good plan b.

6.  I added water to what was left of the dish soap in the bottle and was able to stretch it out for quite a while doing that.

7.  Despite the sickness and things, I was able to somehow find the energy to cook and we didn't end up having to eat out constantly the last couple of weeks. 

8.  My small block freezer is now full of meat.  My husband and I went shopping and I have to say I didn't really want to go as I was so out of it, but despite not feeling good I went and checked the meat mark downs and my jaw dropped when I discovered value packs of chicken drumsticks on manager markdown for .99 lb and a bunch of them were 50% off!  This equated to huge packages of chicken drumsticks for about 2.00 per package!  I bought four even though I had a decent amount of chicken in the freezer already.  I could not pass up chicken at that price!

I was also able to pick up ham for .89 lb on manager special so we have another whole ham in the freezer for use later in the year :).  We're a bit thin on beef in the freezer as it's so darned expensive, but I at least feel good that we have chicken and pork in the freezer to eat if nothing else.

And I'm going to leave it there.  It's ten o'clock and I desperately want to collapse for the evening.  I hope everyone is well out there and don't worry.  I'm finally starting to feel better *knock on every wood substance that exists* and am hoping to finally start getting back to normal life and a more normal blogging schedule as well.  Here's hoping and praying we can finally start to feel better and stay healthy for a while this time!


  1. Good to hear from you Erika. I am sorry that you and your family have been troubled so much by sickness recently. You really did well to continue cooking for your family even though you were ill and looking after sick kids.

    I'm so glad for you for the items you were able to find at the second hand shops. It must feel awesome to have found items you have been wanting for years at cheap prices!

    I hope your week improves and life starts looking up again for you and your family.

  2. I'm so sorry to hear you've been ill. There are some nasty viruses going around- my mom has one right now and won't be able to come up for my son's concert today, so we're bummed. Focus on taking care of yourself and doing only the bare minimum so you can rest; no need to get even more worn down. Best wishes that you're on the mend very quickly. Your thrift store scores are amazing!

  3. I hope everyobe there feels better. It is a struggle here not to catch IT whatever IT is at the moment, flu, strep, etc. Almost 15% of my kids school has it, the people at work got flu, and I'm just praying as I use more hand sani we don't get it.

    Thats so weird about your son's tooth!! I hope it will get loose, and spare you all the ordeal of tue dentist.

    Great finds at the stores...rest up and feel better soon!!

  4. I'm so sorry you've been sick. I'm glad you were able to stay warm and toasty while you recovered.

    The potato basket looks nice that way.

  5. Sorry to hear of all that sickness. You've actually done quite well on the frugal front despite not feeling well.

    Wow, you did great at the thrift store. Those are some cool milkshake glasses!

    I am sensitive to most meds, so I feel your anxiety for Alvah. I will be praying!

  6. Ricers do make very smooth mashed potatoes but it takes a bit of muscle. If you have a second set of hands- one to put the potato in the cup and another person to squish- it’s goes a lot quicker.

    Soryy about the virus- this seems to be a very bad winter for bugs

  7. Hope you’re all recovering by now. I don’t know this will help, but some dentists (not many) can now offer sedation rather than total knock-out. We have a friend with an autistic daughter & she was very interested when I told her about the sedation - best wishes